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Hotels with Haunted Pasts

The permanent guests at these establishments checked in, but never checked out.

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A ghost is always visible at the Inns at Equinox in Manchester, Vermont—or at least an apparition that is allegedly a ghost, captured in an old photograph prominently displayed in the lobby. Founded in 1769, the inn and its surrounding resort has had many notable guests, including Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, and her sons. In fact, according to those who have seen a form resembling Mrs. Lincoln walking through the halls, she still visits. Guests occasionally see empty rocking chairs in motion or will find their belongings rearranged.

American hotels, it appears, are packed with ghosts—guests who check in but never check out. Historic Hotels of America reports that at least 110 hotels are haunted, some with one or two permanent guests and others with many more. Though this time of year is particularly popular for ghost stories, some establishments with paranormal credentials play up their legends all year round, with the possibility of a ghost sighting packaged with a luxury suite, an elegant dinner and a guided haunted tour for dessert.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, a luxury liner converted into a hotel, seems particularly crowded with as many as 50 ghosts reportedly packed into its staterooms. It even employs a psychic to help guests contact the undead. The ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift reportedly appear at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, and the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans has its own pair of sprits to deal with. As a rule, ghosts seem to haunt hotels with historic backstories instead of more modern constructions. Here is a closer look at a few of our favorites.

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